Virginia Trash Hauler Promotes Recycling In Innovative Ways | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Virginia Trash Hauler Promotes Recycling In Innovative Ways

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Clever marketing and a rewards program has increased recycling for one Virginia trash hauler.
Arlington County
Clever marketing and a rewards program has increased recycling for one Virginia trash hauler.

About half of all Americans recycle on a daily basis, but one Virginia trash hauler has found away to boost that number using advanced technology and clever marketing.

Tidewater Fiber Corporation (TFC) picks up trash from more than 400,000 homes in eastern Virginia. In the early days, just 30 percent of its customers recycled, but today more than 70 percent do, and the company is so proud that it made a video of its operation.

The video explains how trash of all kinds is dumped on the tipping floor, then carried by conveyor belts to be separated using magnets, blowers and an optical scanner.  This single-stream process spares customers the effort of separating their own trash.

Project manager Amelia Baker says the company also set-up a rewards program.

"If a resident is participating in recycling perks with an online account, they'll get points that log into their account, and then they can trade those points in for rewards or discounts from local businesses," Baker says.

And TFC personalized the process with a special mailing that introduced customers to the woman who picked up their trash,

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